Scouting the greenhouse weekly is a very important component of an integrated pest management program. It allows growers to track the populations of key pests such as western flower thrips, aphids, spider mites and fungus gnats. Tracking these key pests can help growers optimize their management strategies, maximizing impact and minimizing costs. When scouting, growers should be looking for:
- Cupped, chlorotic, stippled, spotted or malformed foliage.
- Any discolored or damaged foliage or flowers.
- Aggregation of insects.
- Shed skins of aphids.
- Pockets of less vigorous or dying plants.
- Anything out of the ordinary.
Do you need more information? Luckily, there are some great resources for growers who are learning to scout their own crops or are looking to brush up on their technique.